AirKit is a toolkit that allows citizens to sense air pollution, gather observations, and communicate stories and proposals for improving air quality. Developed from 2019 to 2021, AirKit builds on longstanding Citizen Sense research to provide a comprehensive citizen-sensing toolkit for monitoring air quality.

The AirKit project identifies and develops opportunities for realizing the social potential of technologies for citizen-led air quality monitoring. While many air-quality monitoring projects focus on technical innovation, the Citizen Sense research team has developed the AirKit toolkit to facilitate social, environmental, and technical inventiveness. The toolkit focuses on strengthening connections to ongoing environmental projects, supporting communities to set up air quality projects, and mobilizing citizen data to build less polluting environments.

The toolkit includes the AirKit Logbook, the Dustbox 2.0 sensor, the Airsift data analysis platform, and a Data Stories tool for compiling evidence for wider circulation.

The Citizen Sense project team worked with participants in Forest Hill, London, to test and develop the AirKit. We identified sites for setting up monitors, tested different data analysis platforms, created the Airsift platform to allow for citizen data analysis, and held meetings and a workshop to discuss results and possibilities for further action. As part of this process, we developed Covid Data Stories that document how we tested the AirKit with communities.

AirKit is developed through the Citizen Sense project, which is led by Prof Jennifer Gabrys as part of the Planetary Praxis research group in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge. AirKit is available through a Creative Commons license that allows people to share, adapt, and build on the technology for non-commercial purposes CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.